The Federal Trade Commission requires funeral homes to provide price information on request. This New York Times article reports on consumer groups who want the rules updated to require prices to be shared online – something we at William Sullivan & Son have done for many years. (Here’s our price information.)
The FTC provides good, basic information on how to shop for funeral services. The best way to use their advice is to plan your funeral in advance.
“There is so much to do when a loved one dies – so many things people never expected,” said Sherry Marshall in our Royal Oak office. “You definitely don’t want your family to be worrying about what it’s going to cost. Our staff are happy to meet with you to explain our prices. You can pay in advance for your funeral, locking in the price of the service and merchandise you choose. We can show you actual examples of burial containers and our visitation rooms and educate you about cemeteries.”
Here’s what you are guaranteed by the FTC rules:
- Buy only the funeral arrangements you want
- Get price information on the telephone
- Get a written, itemized price list when you visit a funeral home
- See a written casket price list before you see the actual caskets
- See a written outer burial container price list
- Receive a written statement after you decide what you want, and before you pay
- Get an explanation in the written statement from the funeral home that describes any legal cemetery or crematory requirement
- Use an “alternative container” instead of a casket for cremation.
- Provide the funeral home with a casket or urn you buy elsewhere.
- Make funeral arrangements without embalming